How to Create the Perfect College Recruiting Highlight Video

Tips and strategies to help high school athletes put together the perfect highlight tape for prospective college coaches.

Give coaches a chance to see your style of play. The most effective way to do this without having a coach see you play in person, is to post videos to your CaptainU recruiting profile. Skip the ESPN-ready effects and make reels of three to five minutes that show why you stand out at your position. Start each video with your personal info and each play with a square or circle to show coaches where you are in the shot. If you play a sport that's tough to film, then it's great to make videos of your drills.

What do coaches want to see?

Coaches want to see your style of play and picture how you handle big moments. You can give them that chance by posting videos to your athlete profile. You don't need a big budget and you don't have to craft a fancy reel with background music and crazy effects. Even most smartphones have the quality you need to make these clips. What matters is that the videos show your skills, and ultimately land you at the college that fits you and your goals

Tips for the perfect highlight video

Highlight Video

Videos should be three to five minutes each—long enough to gives coaches good info, but not so long that they doze off. Use clips from two or three games, or at least that much footage pulled from a bunch of games. It's important to find the shots that show why you're great at your position. A basketball point guard who's an unselfish passer and pesky defender is going to want videos of assists and steals. Whatever your game, get enough shots to show your style.

Some sports, like football and soccer, are easy to film from the stands. But if you play baseball or softball, and the only film you can get comes from behind a fence, then create videos from practices instead. You still want to think about your style of play, so go through drills that show what makes you great. If you aren't sure what separates you, ask your club or high school coach for advice.

I have some footage, but how do I make it presentable to college coaches?

Your edits don't need to be fancy. You just want to help coaches understand you. Before each video, add a slide with your basic info: name, graduating year, height, weight, phone number, and email address. If you can, pause the footage before each play and put a circle or square around you. This tells coaches where to keep their eyes as the play unfolds. Start your clip a couple of seconds before the play and let it roll through the end of the action.

Got the game, but not the video skills? CaptainU can help

Coaches don't recruit based on videos alone, but your clips make for a great hook. Highlights get coaches excited about how you'd play on their teams. If you don't want to edit your videos or don't have the resources, remember that CaptainU's Gold and Platinum plans include editing for athletes who send their footage.

Ready to get your highlights up and available for coaches to find you? Create your free recruiting profile here.